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SIUE introduces business analytics graduate specialization


From Illinois Business Journal news services

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is introducing a master’s specialization in business analytics that will be available for the fall 2015 semester.

The specialization will be available for all School of Business graduate programs, including the MBA, accountancy, marketing research, CMIS, and economics and finance.

Business professionals who can make data-driven decisions are in high demand. According to a Graduate Management Admission Council 2013 survey, 98 percent of employers believe business school graduates need to know how to use data to drive decisions.

“This specialization will add value to our students’ degree programs and will help meet the growing demand for graduates who are prepared to enter business analyst positions in a variety of business areas,” said Parviz Ansari, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. “A strong business analytics skill set will enable graduates to positively impact financial performance, strategic management and efficiency of operations.”

According to Janice Joplin, PhD, associate dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Business, the focus of the specialization is to help students develop applied skills relevant for business professionals involved with data-driven decision processes. Students will develop the capabilities to assess organizational information assets, to understand how to form relevant business questions, and to utilize visualization and other presentation methods to communicate findings to senior management.

School of Business faculty consulted with SIUE alumni from corporate partners in the region and across the country during the development of the business analytics specialization. “All confirmed the need for business analytics and the appropriateness of the direction we have taken in designing the specialization, and have offered to continue to work with us on curricular development,” Joplin said.

The business analytics specialization will include 18 credit hours in quantitative methods, information fundamentals, business intelligence and analytics, and applied analytical methods and data management.

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